Tag Archives: folders

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 24

13 Jun

Although most of last week was spent sorting out files and folders, I did manage to do quite a bit of new research as well. This is just what I needed, starting the transition from organising to researching.

Hopefully next week will see the bulk of my organising done. Of course it will never be completely done, as new material will be turning up all the time in need of processing and filing, but at least I have everything in place and a system that should make it easier in future to know where to filing things, and where to find them when I need them.

Most of the research was about the branch of BATEMAN family that grew up in Australia. The pursuit of the descendants of my 2x great-uncle William Joseph Henry BATEMAN is something I will be taking on in the forthcoming weeks. As part of this I want to try and write some posts about what I already know about the family.

In terms of organising, the GASSON surname folder is virtually sorted and that only leaves the GEERING folder to go. It is my intention to get both of those folders completed this week, and by the following week I want to have gone through all the surname folders and make sure everything is as it should be and I will produce a template that will enable me at a glance to see where new information fits into the system.

The amount of new BATEMAN research meant I didn’t get chance to start going through my database and start defining some goals, I would like to try and start that this week, although I don’t expect to complete it. I do however need to decide which projects I am going to be working on next.

One of those projects might involve the WRIGHT/SHORNDEN family of Alton, Hampshire. Having visited Alton last weekend I would like to find out more about their time in Alton. One long term goal is to find out how they came to be in Hampshire in the first place, when they were previously in Kent.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 23

6 Jun

Last week was a bad week for new research, but it was quite a good week for organising. I am pleased to say that I achieved pretty much what I set out to do with regard to sorting out my digital files and folders.

I am just putting the finishing touches to sorting out the BATEMAN surname folder, and that just leaves me with the two big ones, GEERING and GASSON. At the moment the GEERINGs are going to be the next major project, really an ongoing project, so I think this week I will focus on getting the GASSON surname folder sorted and then work on the GEERING surname folder in the following week, as I start to get back into researching the Hailsham branch of the GEERING family.

There are two other things I would like to try and do this week. Firstly, it is almost half-way through the year, so it is about time I went back and revisited some of the to-do items that I set myself at the end of last year. I need to make sure I am on track to get those completed.

Secondly, I need to start going through my newly organised surname folders in parallel with my Family Historian software and start defining some goals to take my research forward. Some will be very specific, such as finding a particular baptism record, whilst some will be quite general, such as finding out what happened to the siblings of a particular ancestor.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 22

30 May

I’ve changed the title of this regular weekly post to reflect the fact that it is largely about what I have been doing (or failing to do) in my own personal genealogy.

Last week was devoted almost entirely to organising the files and folders on my hard drive. I had hoped to get all my folders sorted out by the end of May, but I am some way short of that, although not too far off. I have another eight folders to sort through, out of a total of 75 surnames.

I have transcribed the will of Thomas PIERCEY, but that was really just about the only other new bit of work I did that wasn’t related to sorting out folders. I have added several new relations to my family tree in the process of going through my folders, and some of that involved looking up new details.

I am really missing doing any proper new research, all this organising is taking it’s toll on me and I now just want to get it out of the way and start moving on to new ground. I might start a few bits of proper research this week, but really I need to get things organised to finish off the GEERINGs of Hailsham, before I get too carried away with new avenues of research.

This week I am going to get all the folders sorted apart from the GEERING and GASSON ones (which will be left for the following week). Also I will get together a plan for East Sussex Record Office (where I still haven’t booked a seat yet or ordered documents yet) and contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (which I still haven’t done either) in preparation for starting back on the GEERINGs again.

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 19)

9 May

Last week was an interesting week, I devoted much time going through my digital files, and have made very good progress in getting them sorted. I am now left with 20 surname folders left to sort out. The problem is that these 20 folders are the biggest and most disorganised folders.

I didn’t get any work done in relation to the GEERING family. I fear I am losing momentum on this particular project, so this week I really must get things moving again.

I spent too much time last week looking at websites on trig points and benchmarks. At least I thought it was far too much time, but it was interesting and enjoyable, and I think I might have a new project coming out of it, so in retrospect it probably wasn’t too much time.

By the end of the week I felt I needed to get out and do some proper research, so I took a visit to the West Sussex Record Office to try and tie up some loose ends. Now I have a pile of papers to sort out as well as my digital files.

  • Sort out and capture all the information collected at the West Sussex Record Office, and update my to-do list.
  • I still need to contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs to see if they might have some records for my research.
  • Book a seat at the East Sussex Record Office and order the documents I need to view for my GEERING research.
  • I am going to tackle ten folders this week, eight of the smaller ones, the TROWER folder, and the GEERING folder (that should help me focus back on where my GEERING research is going).

Setting an organisational deadline

3 May

I have decided that this month (May) I am going to get the family history folder on my hard drive organised. This won’t be at the expense of any new research, and if anything it will encourage more research as I try and tie up loose ends.

It doesn’t really require a huge amount of resources, just a bit of time and discipline. It will mainly involve renaming files (standardising) and updating Family Historian.

Most of my family history folders don’t contain a lot of files, they mainly have census images and other documents. They also contain what I would call scraps. These are small text files that I have used to quickly capture information that I have come across as I go about my research.

For example, whilst I might have been looking for a baptism record for an ancestor, I would probably encounter baptisms for their siblings as well. In my rush to continue tracing my ancestor I would just make a quick note of these other records and move on. Now it is time to make sure I have updated all these records in Family Historian and then delete these scraps.

I have under eighty folders now and most of these need very little work. The problem comes with some of the larger folders like the GASSONs, the TROWERs, the GEERINGs and the KINGHORNs. My plan is to get the smaller folders out of the way this week and then start tackling the larger ones the following week.

The other aspect I need to work on is my digital photos. All the photos I have taken are stored separately from my family history, and those that are related to family history are copied to the family history folder. This includes anything that might be used to illustrate my family history (such as churches, houses and streets) or is a piece of evidence itself (like gravestones).

I have four weeks to sort out my hard drive and if I actually stick to my plans I should be able to complete it in that time. Like getting rid of my paper folders, it will be good to sort out these files and have a system in place for dealing with information as I go along.

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 18)

2 May

I failed to achieve most of what I set out to do last week. I haven’t got in touch with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs and I didn’t create an “exit strategy” for my GEERING research either.

However, I don’t feel too disappointed because I got quite a bit of organising done on my hard drive. I was supposed to have been coming up with a schedule for sorting my files and folders, but instead I just dived straight in and got on with it.

I made quite a pleasing dent in the list of folders to sort and I am going to continue this week. I do have a sort of plan and would like to get my hard drive organisation completed by the end of May. I don’t see myself doing any new research this week, only dealing with stuff I already have.

  • Go through a dozen folders on my hard drive and sort out the contents, updating Family Historian and adding stuff to my to-do list.
  • Contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs to see if they might have some records for my research.
  • Define an “exit strategy” for my GEERING research, deciding how much more work I want to do on the family before moving on.
  • I didn’t get around to tidying up my computer desk and the spare bedroom, so I must to that this week.

A backup wake-up call

30 Jan

Last night I received a nasty reminder from my computer on the importance of having a good backup.

It was around 10 o’clock and I had just finished working on my family history for the night and started my nightly backup routine. I synchronised my family history files to my USB flash drive, my grab and run emergency backup (and netbook synchroniser).

I started the synchronisation to my external hard drive and was met with a couple of error messages, to the effect that the external hard drive didn’t exist. Surely there must be some mistake, I thought, it had probably been assigned the wrong drive letter.

I opened Windows Explorer and there it was, with the correct drive letter and it looked like all the folders were there. As I drilled down I found each folder was in fact empty. All my files had gone.

I stopped and thought about it, this was my backup, I still had the original files on my PC and my USB flash drive. There were a few non-genealogy files lost that didn’t really matter, but the external hard drive stores all my digital photos. Fortunately they are all backed up on DVD and stored off-site, so I hadn’t lost anything important, it would just be annoying to have to replace the external hard drive and start again.

But something still didn’t seem right, surely the files couldn’t just disappear and leave the folders where they are, that didn’t sound like hard drive failure? The more I thought about it the more it didn’t seem right. Something told my they were still there but I couldn’t see them.

So I did the most obvious thing and rebooted my PC. Of course when the system came back up all the files were there present and correct. I ran my backups successfully and shut the system down.

Does this mean my external hard drive is on the way out or is my PC getting it’s USB connections confused? I don’t know, but it sure made me stop and think. I would consider my backup regime pretty good, but those few minutes of lost data really made me wonder if it would all work if I had to restore my files.

Not only am I going to give my external hard drive a thorough going over, I am going to review what is actual stored on it. I shall probably burn a couple more copies of my digital photos and hide them away somewhere else. Truth is I can probably delete a load of those photos, just because I have the space to store them isn’t an excuse for not going through and deleting the rubbish.

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